Risks for Child Heatstroke High in the Sunshine State

We don’t have to tell you. It’s hot out there! And with those rising temperatures, it’s more important than ever that we discuss children and their risks inside a hot vehicle.

According to NBC News, there were at least 8 children who died after they were left in a vehicle by a parent or caregiver. With the Florida temps we’re facing this time of year — death can happen in a matter of seconds.

Our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers understand that there has already been one of these fatal accidents thus far in June. The most recent accident happened to an Escambia boy. He was 2-years-old and he was left in a vehicle by his grandfather. By the time he was found, he had been sitting in the scorching vehicle for four hours. His grandfather found him on the floorboards of the vehicle — dead.

Since 1998, there have been close to 600 children who have died in the U.S. in these kinds of accidents. Monthly, an average of 38 children are killed in hot vehicles, with an increase in this average starting in the month of May.

Heat stroke, or hyperthermia, can occur if a child is left unattended in a vehicle, whether intentionally for a quick errand or unintentionally if there is a break in routine, a parent or caregiver is distracted, or children are playing unsupervised in a vehicle.

“It has everything to do with our brains letting us down at the worst possible moment,” said Janette Fennell with KidsAndCards.org.

Even cool temperatures in the 60s can cause the temperature to rise well above 110 degrees Fahrenheit inside your car. The inside temperature can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes.

While most of these fatalities are tragic accidents, they are completely preventable. Review and share the following safety tips to help ensure that one of these tragedies doesn’t happen to your family.

Safety Tips:

-Never leave a child in a vehicle — not even for a minute. Temperatures can climb to deadly levels in a matter of minutes.

-Put something you need in the back seat (like your phone, purse or briefcase). This will help to ensure that you turn and check the back seat before exiting the vehicle every time.

-Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.

-Never allow your child to play in or around a vehicle that’s unattended.

-Keep a reminder (like a stuffed animal, a picture or a sticky note) in the front of your vehicle to remind you to turn and check the back seats before exiting.

-Use drive-thru services when they’re available.

-Talk with friends, family members, babysitters and other caregivers about these tips. Make sure they’re doing what they can to help to reduce the risks, too.

-If you see a child that has been left in a vehicle, get them out as quickly as possible or dial 9-1-1.

Accident victims can contact Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorney Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free and confidential consultation.

More Blog Entries:

South Florida Swimming Pool Accidents Take 2 Over Weekend, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, June 1, 2013

Broward Traffic Safety Watch: Night Driving and Seat Belts, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, May 29, 2013

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